Labour's poll rating has dropped to just 35% and the party is now less trusted to run the economy than it was last September according to the latest Opinium/Observer survey.
The findings will dent Labour morale and are bound to lead to renewed calls from within the party for Ed Miliband to deliver a clearer message about its future direction, particularly on spending and welfare policies.
While the Tories are still in the doldrums, up 1% at 29% compared with a fortnight ago, David Cameron and George Osborne will be cheered that Labour's lead has been cut to just six percentage points.
The 35% tally for Labour is one of the lowest since Ed Miliband became leader. The UK Polling Report website shows it has dropped lower – to 34% – in only four polls since September 2010.
With less than two weeks to go before the 2 May local elections, Ukip, which is fielding a record number of council candidates, has maintained its surge and is up 1% on 17%, while the Lib Dems remain on 8%.
Most worrying of all to Labour may be the findings on the economy. In September last year 26% of people said they trusted David Cameron and George Osborne most to run the economy, while 24% preferred Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.
Seven months later, despite the economy teetering close to a triple dip recession, the Tories' 2% lead has now stretched to 7% with 29% preferring Cameron and Osborne and just 22% putting their faith in the Labour duo.
• Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 1,969 GB adults aged 18+ from 16 to 18 April 2013. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria
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